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Taste-testing Dine Out Vancouver

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Taste-testing Dine Out Vancouver

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A few nibbles around town to kick off this year's festival

There are so many delicious options for eating out in Vancouver that it can be hard to keep up with new spots and old favourites. Luckily for us, Dine Out Vancouver is back with options to explore some of the city’s best restaurants.

To kick off the festival, organizers host an annual media preview night, where they pile a bunch of us into vans and whisk us around town for a dine-around.

This year, the evening began with a reception at the new Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre on Burrard Street. A warm welcome, some quick mingling and we were off. Eight groups sped toward three secret locations to begin our three-hour culinary tour.

The first stop on the tour I selected was the newly minted Salt Tasting Room at 2585 W Broadway. The staff was fantastic, serving up options with care and detailed knowledge. I highly recommend asking about the goat-cheese cheesecake with homemade Okanagan peach compote. So rich and delicious. Salt in Kits takes after the original restaurant in Gastown; they’re both great places to enjoy good food and meet new people.

Before we knew it, our little band of lucky food tasters was hustled back into the van and deposited across town on The Drive. I live in East Van, so I was really happy to discover our next stop, the Cannibal Café at 1818 Commercial Dr.

The café has been open for about a year and is quickly becoming a neighbourhood favourite. The walls are plastered with original band posters from Vancouver’s punk and rock history, and the narrow space is always busy. We were treated to excellent burgers (try the lamb), homemade poutine and the best deep-fried doughnut ever.

Our beers not yet finished, we gulped the last mouthfuls and headed off to the last stop of the night.

The van pulled up in front of Le Parisien, in the West End, at 751 Denman St. Le Parisien is a delightful and romantic neighbourhood hideaway just blocks from Stanley Park. It didn’t seem possible to eat more, but it was impossible to resist.

Our host regaled us with specific details about every aspect of our meal, which included duck confit and an exquisite chocolate mousse. Both the presentation and the meal were fabulous. Do not hesitate to bring a special someone here for a romantic, and authentic, meal.

Too soon, the night was complete. Back at Tourism Vancouver, the group members were full and flushed, eager to share stories from their wonderful food adventures.

Dine Out Vancouver runs Friday, Jan 17 to Sunday, Feb 2. Click here for the full list of participating venues.